expanding your bubble

Expanding my bubble – monthly review

expanding your bubble

The end of July always brings a smile to my face as I know I only have one more month of winter left! In July amongst other tasks I worked on to help me achieve my goal for the year, I did a review of my podcast subscriptions. I have been making changes all year to this but I spent some additional time this month, deleting podcasts that I no longer listen to and adding some new ones to the mix. This task was important as the information I consume can have a huge impact on how I see the world around me and the judgement or curiosity I have for it. As I note below I am finding the more I expose myself to differing ideas, perspectives and views, the less judgemental I am.

Below I have listed five new podcasts to my feed this year. The first three are ones that I would normally listen to and the last two are ones that I would not have added to my feed previously.

  • Life Kit – 10 ways to have fun without breaking the bank – Life Kit is an NPR podcast and the episodes are short generally between 13-30 minutes. I loved this episode. I loved the simplicity of the ideas and it did make me lust a little for summer time. The philosophy of the episode is that you shouldn’t let money or time be the thing that decides whether or not you will have fun.
  • Happy Place – Bronnie Ware – Happy Place is an interview style podcast and episodes run from about 45 – 60 minutes. Hosted by English author Fearne Cotton she explores the personal, spiritual and the big picture with her guest. In this episode she interviews Australian author Bronnie Ware and the idea of using death as a tool for living well. I love this quote from Ware – “the only thing that turns a mistake into a regret is our own judgement upon it”.
  • The Diary Of A CEO with Steven Bartlett – Harvard Professor: “10,000 Steps A Day” Is A LIE! Revealing The 7 BIG LIES About Exercise, Sleep, Running, Cancer & Sugar!!! Daniel Lieberman. – This podcast is also on YouTube as video interviews so all the titles of the podcasts have super clickbaity titles that you have to ignore. I don’t listen to all of the episodes but Bartlett is an excellent interviewer and the production quality is brilliant. A key takeaway from this episode for me was (and it affirms the content of the book I just finished reading), how 74% of diseases can be prevented through better nutrition, exercise and other lifestyle choices.
  • Modern Wisdom – J Michael Bailey – Activists Tried To Get This Study Banned – like The Diary Of A CEO podcast, Modern Wisdom is also on YouTube in video interview format and suffers from clickbait titles as well. This is a podcast that I would not have normally subscribed to but in an effort to be less judgemental and more curious, I have done so and listened to episodes like this and also Dr Bjorn Lomborg – Climate Alarmists Are Getting It All Wrong and Why Are Differences Between Men & Women Being Denied?. The host Chris Williamson certainly has his own bias and interests but the podcast is well produced and he does offer a space for a range of voices on his platform which I think is a great thing. What I have noticed about exposing myself to more content that is outside of my usual thought bubble is that I actually listen to the content and consider the perspectives instead of getting agitated or angry about it. I don’t have to agree with it but I am becoming more considered in my reactions and more curious about the way others think.
  • John Anderson: Conversations – With Louise Perry, Author and Journalist – like the above podcast, this is a podast that prior to this year I would not have subscribed to. And in hindsight, it was for a pretty silly reason. I consider myself to be on the left of the political spectrum and as such, tended to ignore content that was on the “right” side of the political spectrum. My growing awareness of this and how ridiculous and short-sighted that is was one of the key reasons that I chose my goal this year to Embrace life with curiosity and experimentation to gain greater connection. Anderson interviews his guests well and is considered in his thoughts. There is a lot I disagree with when listening to some of the episodes but I enjoy that it makes me think and it challenges my stances on issues like in this episode with Perry, which made me think a lot about what feminism means to me.

Create a monthly experiment

10 things in 10 minutes brainstorming idea

Connection to goal – Embrace life with curiosity and experimentation to gain greater connection – I love my routines and they provide an excellent base from which I can achieve a great deal. My love of routines can mean that I can take a very well-worn path. This year I want to mix it up more. Add more play, challenge myself and try new things while bringing along others as I go.

Quote to connect to – “The true method of knowledge is experiment.” – William Blake

July performance – My July challenge was to write 10 ideas in 10 minutes. This is a brainstorming technique I have used in the past and have found it super helpful for getting unstuck. I was feeling a little stuck in a few places both personally and professionally so thought this would be a great process to help move me forward in a few places. And it did! I did not do it every day as I set for myself, it was more like about 80% of the month but I now have so many ideas for work and home and more importantly a lot of excitement about working on these ideas over the remaining months of the year. For August my challenge is not actually a daily one, but it is to cook two new meals a week. One will be a dinner and the other will be either a new breakfast or lunch for me. I am such a creature of habit and honestly was very happy eating the same thing but it is good to give things a bit of a shake up! You can see my previous daily challenges here:

Practice switching from judgement to curiosity

being more curious

Connection to goal – Embrace life with curiosity and experimentation to gain greater connection – Having strong opinions on issues means that when I hear a dissenting view I can move to judgement and not make an attempt to understand the opposing viewpoint – it stifles open communication.

When I hear/read/view something that triggers me, I want to be curious not judgemental about it and really listen and understand the thinking behind the differing view and have truly open communication with others. Communication is key to connection.

Quote to connect to – “Listen with curiosity. Speak with honesty. Act with integrity. The greatest problem with communication is we don’t listen to understand.” – Roy T. Bennett

July performance – I have found that the more I expose myself to differing ideas, perspectives and views, the less judgemental I am. As noted above, for too long I think I have limited the views I have exposed myself to because I was fixed in my views. I am learning that I can still have my views but I need to be exposing myself to a much wider range of voices. I can read/listen/watch with an open mind and it can help me increase my empathy, understanding and curiosity. While I still have a way to go, I think I had a real breakthrough in changing the way I think and what I will expose myself to this month. 8/10.

Consume a diverse low information diet

podcasts on spotify

Connection to goal – Embrace life with curiosity and experimentation to gain greater connection – When consuming information from many sources now, algorithms are feeding us what it thinks we want to see based on what we have already seen, listened to or read. It takes a concerted effort to diversify the information we are consuming.

We are becoming an increasingly polarised society on so many issues and it is causing deep division. If we only ever look at one side of the story our divisions will only grow bigger.

Quote to connect to – “We need diversity of thought in the world to face the new challenges.” – Tim Berners-Lee

July performance – I conducted a review of my podcast feed this month. Deleting podcasts I no longer listen to and adding some new ones to the mix to expand the diversity of my podcast feed.

Tasks for the Year

  • February – Completely overhaul my Feedly feed – completed. It took me about 90 minutes to overhaul the feed. It was interesting to see so many blogs that now no longer publish new articles. I completely deleted entire folders of feeds. Over time my interests have changed but by keeping so many feeds in my account, there was too much info coming in so I wasn’t really seeing the ones I wanted to. I would have halved the number of feeds that I had in my account which is great.
  • May – Edit, add and cull the email newsletters I am subscribed to
  • Review accounts I follow on Instagram
  • July – Review podcast subscriptions – deleted podcasts I no longer listened to and added some new ones to create diversity in my feed.
  • March – Review Youtube subscriptions – this month I worked on adding diversity to my Youtube subscriptions and deleting anything I am no longer interested in. I unsubscribed from over 50 channels. There is so much quality content on Youtube now that I am tempted to pay for the premium version!

What did you achieve in July?